Nicaragua looks hectic on the news right now, and for the most part, it is. The numbers of those dead or injured are horrific. The government is asserting power via violence to control an uprising. To their dismay, the new irrepressible nature of social media, has thwarted their grip and is counter-intuitively fuelling this uprising. The government has not taken kindly to being exposed, and have been using force and killing unarmed citizens for over a month.
April 21st was the fourth day for which Nicaragua had stood up to their faux democratic oppressor. The impact across the nation has been intense, a harsh violence was prevalent for 3 nights prior, and after a few weeks in stalemate, the violence has erupted as such once again. With blood spilled, and blood boiled, the people haven’t resisted behind the weight of the violence. They keep protesting and their numbers grow. The government revoked the social security matter that initiated these protests, and the people saw the momentum they had garnered and demanded change whilst their presence respected. In the early stages their voices seemed to be heard as though they’d pushed their oppressors into a corner. With a rising death toll, and inability to negotiate, both sides are in too deep to withdrawal. It’s incredible to see the determination, and passion in pursuing greater opportunity; it’s terrifying to see the lengths the government will go to.
On this same day, April 21st our young club hosted a local, cross-town ultimate game in Asseradores, a small fishing village with a cherished central playing field. A cross-town presence has been felt at our pick up games in Manzanillo. Their inclusion has nearly doubled our club. In this town of 7 small communities, these two are the furthest apart, and the two biggest. They love to compete, so the cross-town rivalry ‘showcase game’ became the obvious choice. I joined Aserradores, while abandoning my old team from Manzanillo, to train the new upstart Aserradores team. The game was well hyped, and drew a good crowd. On the day, Manzanillo won 15-13 in a well-spirited affair. There were 35 players between the 2 teams, a fritanga (bbq) and another 80+ in attendance to spectate.
Since then the demand for ultimate has been incredible, Aserradores has been begging for a revenge option and more people are coming out to play. We’ve got a small organizing committee, we’re focusing on women and youth, and poised for growth… but we’re running out of discs.
Poverty here is visible, even more so with local tourism locations unable to support employment, many jobs have been lost. It is a segregated community where many basics we take for granted are not available to locals. Each of their 4 tournaments in the big cities have been on the back of sponsorships, and playing attire is often no different than working, fishing or farming attire.
This growing community is resilient and very grateful for the work I’ve put in and the donations you have all made. I’ll continue to put teams together and to organize leagues, and showcase games, and women’s development days, and youth development and more. To further help, I’d love for the greater ultimate community to help in providing the sport’s basics.
In the meantime, when you hear about what is going on in Nicaragua, take a bit of extra time and understand the conversation, don’t just watch the freaky press images. Understand ‘why’. You’ll see the passion, the bravery and courage on display to make change. That… is beautiful. Change for people with noble hearts that deserve better opportunities than presently available.
My hopes now are that for what has been lost, and for what momentum has been gained, this revolution comes full circle, and the Era of repression is ceremoniously replaced.
We can hope.
There is a tournament in Granada, November 10-11.
Stay informed and know what’s going on, but don’t hold stigma don’t deprive yourself of the beauty that is Nicaragua once the situation has calmed and allowed for it.
Come and play.
SEND DISCS, JERSEYS AND MATERIALS:
Here is my PO Box address:
Apartado Postal 150